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Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly believe women should have access to all reproductive health care options available

(Providence, R.I.) – Today Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) held a press conference to discuss the findings of a recent poll to gauge Rhode Islander’s views on issues related to women’s reproductive health services.

Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly believe (93 percent important) it is important for women in Rhode Island to have access to all of the reproductive health care options available to them, including abortion. This belief is equally true among both women (76 percent very important) and men.

“The idea that Rhode Islanders hold more conservative beliefs about these services and values than voters do elsewhere is simply untrue,” said Susan Yolen, Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “The data demonstrates an enormous opportunity to educate elected officials about the strong support voters express for reproductive rights. We want our legislature to know Rhode Islanders love choice and the rights of women and they should not be afraid to speak out on these issues.”

Planned Parenthood is extremely well-liked in Rhode Island with a majority of voters (71 percent favorable, 45 percent very favorable) having a favorable opinion of PPSNE. Planned Parenthood is viewed net favorably across demographic subgroups and party.

The poll also gauged voter understanding of the Rhode Island General Assembly’s views on abortion. When asked, Thinking about your state legislature, do you think it is more supportive or opposed to a woman making her own decision on abortion?, 34 percent said supportive, 32 percent said opposed and 34 percent did not know.

“We have an opportunity and a responsibility to educate voters on these issues. There is a deep divide between what voters believe and the agenda at the State House which at times is damaging to women’s health care,” added Yolen. “These findings will be very useful as our electoral organization prepares for the campaign season ahead.”

The poll was conducted between April 28 and May 4, 2014 by Washington, D.C. based Lake Research Partners. The poll surveyed 500 likely Rhode Island voters.

The poll report summary can be found here.

Celinda Lake, Partner with Lake Research Partners, presented and interpreted the poll findings at a press conference earlier in the day.

“The poll shows reproductive health care is considered preventive health care and it is important for all women to have access to those services,” Lake said. “Rhode Islanders want medical information decided by their health care provider, not by politicians. The intensity and level of support reaches deeply, even with conservative voters.” 

One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in her life for professional, non-judgmental, and confidential care. No one else does more than Planned Parenthood to reduce unintended pregnancies and keep women healthy. 

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England works every day to provide high-quality preventive health care. Last year, PPSNE provided more than 13,750 life-saving cancer screenings and preventative services; nearly 25,000 women’s health services and more than 37,000 STD/STI and HIV screening visits. 

To learn more about PPSNE visit ppsne.org.


Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 18 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to over 70,000 patients annually, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive.


Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Inc.


Media Contact: Josh Morgan

Public Relations & Marketing Associate

Office: 203.752.2900

Cell: 203.815.9825

[email protected]


June 05, 2014